Mumbai: Istithmar PJSC, the investment arm of Dubai World, has sold most of its 13.39% equity stake in Delhi-based low-fare airline SpiceJet Ltd for Rs169 crore, a top executive of the airline said.
It sold the stock to domestic funds and foreign institutional investors.
Istithmar, which was an anchor investor for SpiceJet, sold its stake in bulk deals in the open market on Friday to DWS Invest BRIC Plus Fund, Reliance Mutual Fund and Birla Mutual Fund, according to data disclosed on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).
Equity exit: Despite the sale, Dubai World still holds FCCBs worth $12 million in the low-budget airline. Punit Paranjpe/Reuters
“All I will say is that we are aware that Istithmar had sold most of its equity investment in SpiceJet. Based on our information, it has sold two-third of its funds to domestic funds and one-third to foreign institutions,” SpiceJet chief executive officer Sanjay Aggarwal told Mint. “However, it still holds FCCBs (foreign currency convertible bonds) worth $12 million (Rs56 crore),” he added.
Mint could not immediately reach Istithmar.
Shares of SpiceJet, India’s second largest low-fare carrier, on Friday fell 1.65% to close at Rs53.80 on BSE. The benchmark Sensex index fell 2.68% to close at 15,790.93 points.
The sale gives more space for another foreign investor to buy SpiceJet shares while complying with India’s 49% foreign holding limit in an airline. The current foreign holding in SpiceJet is around 30%.
Billionaire investor Wilbur Ross had in July 2008 injected $80 million in SpiceJet through New York-based private equity fund WL Ross and Co. Llc.Goldman Sachs also invested $20 million in the carrier at that time.